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Everything you need to know (and pack!) for festival season

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If you're planning on hitting the festival circuit this summer, we've got all you need to know for the best possible experience. From staying connected to having a stress-free experience putting up your tent, Topdeck trip leader and keen festival-goer Dan Kilgore has it covered.

Isle of Wight festival

READ MORE: 8 beauty products you NEED to take to a festival this summer

Staying Connected

If you're heading to a European festival, make sure your phone is unlocked so you can use a local EU sim on arrival, avoiding roaming fees. If you have a cheap spare phone available, definitely bring that along - the last thing you want to do is worry about having your new mobile stolen, cracked, or lost while you're having fun.

  • Invest in a decent portable charger, the slightly more expensive ones that will give you more power are totally worth it.
  • Remember, you can call 112 to contact any emergency service in any EU country.

READ MORE: 10 family friendly festivals in the UK that you probably haven't heard of


Building your tent

  • Opt for a tent slightly bigger than what you actually need, a 'two-man' tent is never really spacious enough for two people. It's also worth investing in a colourful tent or flag to ensure you can find your tent among all the others.
  • Do a tent 'test run' a few days before the festival, that way you can ensure you have all the pegs and there aren't any repairs to be done.
  • Avoid sleeping on the hard floor by bringing along a decent yoga mat or even a blow-up mattress. 
  • Never leave your passport, phone, cash or other valuables inside the tent – if you do, get a lock and wear your keys around a necklace (if you trust yourself not to lose them). The safest bet is to use the festival lockers if available, as losing your passport is one sure way to ruin a perfectly great holiday.

READ NEXT: Jo Whiley's guide to bringing the festival vibe into your home

Citadel Festival London

Festival hacks from a festival pro

  • Strap a camping headlight to a big bottle of water which will illuminate your entire tent with a pretty soft light.
  • If two of your favourite bands are playing at the same time, get organised and make time for both. It's better to see half and half than just the one and regretting it the next day.
  • If it's a hot day, sun-proof your tent with emergency blankets which will keep it nice and cool.
  • Head to the trailer toilets first thing in the morning (slightly earlier than the masses wake up) as they'll be freshly cleaned for you to freshen yourself up.
  • Pack camping chairs for when you need some downtime. They're bulky but worth lugging around when you want to chill for a few hours (especially if it's been raining).
  • Consider booking a festival through a group travel provider like Topdeck, which means you don't have to worry about any of the booking and planning. Just show up and be prepared to have an epic experience with music-loving travellers like yourself.

Make friends with your campsite neighbours; there will be times when they're at the campsite without you and vice versa so you can keep an eye on each other's stuff. Also consider getting comprehensive travel insurance which will cover you while at the festival, and for the rest of your time overseas.

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